ScholarCelebration

$375,000 in New Scholarships to Art Academy of Cincinnati

To view more photos from the event, click here.

The Art Academy of Cincinnati announces two new transformational scholarships: the Carson E. Smith Scholarship and the William E. Villa Scholarship. Smith and Villa were both graduates of the Art Academy of Cincinnati and remembered the school in their end-of-life plans.

William E. Villa enrolled at the Art Academy in 1963 and studied drawing and painting, sculpture, visual techniques, graphic design, art history, and color theory. While a student, he worked as a photography lab technician. As a graduate, he began his career as a television news photographer for WKRC. He filmed, edited and produced local news stories.

In 1970, just four years after graduation, he moved to San Francisco and worked in the production of secondary school educational films. He was a television production specialist for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and a recipient of a national HUD photography award.

In 2000, he made his home in Kula, Hawaii. Photography served him well in his profession. Throughout his life, he stayed connected to his creative, artistic side, especially regarding the Art Academy training in graphic design and color theory. He continued to paint and draw; he created stained and fused glass. Just before his untimely death in 2010, William had plans to create an art studio.

Carson Smith graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1957 with a degree in Design and Portraiture. As an Art Academy student, Carson met William Henschel, an Art Academy instructor and Rookwood Pottery artist, who recognized Carson’s talent and helped him get a summer job at Rookwood Pottery that lasted for many years both before and after his service in World War II. He earned the Purple Heart for his service to his country during the Okinawa invasion.

His career embraced beauty. He created intricate three-dimensional designs for cigarette cases, pocket watches, and cosmetic cases. Smith was known for his designs at Wadsworth Watch Case Company and Helena Rubenstein Cosmetics. It was not unusual to see celebrities and royalty using items he designed.

His most notable design was the Cadillac emblem – a shield with traditional figures of heraldry. While the emblem has evolved over the years, his design is still the foundation of what Cadillac continues to use.

Until his retirement in 1990, Carson worked as an interior designer at Greiwe Interiors, where he was recognized with a national award for the original Pigall’s restaurant in downtown Cincinnati.

The Scholars Celebration, October 3, 5-6:30 at the Art Academy, will recognize significant scholarships and the students who receive them. Art Academy students received financial support from

  • AAC Alumni Scholarship
  • AAC Portfolio Awards
  • John E. & Mary Ann Butkovich Scholarship,
  • Cincinnati Art Club Scholarship,
  • John Fisher/Leonard Sive Traditional Painting Scholarshp
  • Franklin Folger Memorial Trust
  • Gary Gaffney/Jacqueline Wollman Award
  • Omer T. Glenn Scholarship
  • Edie & Charley Harper Scholarship
  • Helms Trust Purchase Award
  • Fannie Isidor Scholarship
  • Carolyn & Julius Magnus Family Award
  • John & Judy Ruthven Scholarship
  • Carson E. Smith Scholarship
  • William E. Villa Scholarship
  • Bertha Langhorst Werner Scholarship
  • Stephen H. Wilder Scholarship

Art Academy 2017 Scholarship Recipients are

  1. Andrea Bacca, Bristol,VA
  2. Cody Bechtol, Cheviot, OH
  3. Caroline Bell, Turpin Hills, OH
  4. Bruce Bennett, St. Paul, MN
  5. Kaitlin Burke, Hudson, OH
  6. Lauren Castillo, Greensboro, NC
  7. Mandy Clements, Greenville, NC
  8. Madison DeAtley, Loveland, OH
  9. Joseph DiMario, Cincinnati, OH
  10. Taylor Dorrell, Westerville, OH
  11. Claire Flath, West Chester, OH
  12. DJ Gathers, Madisonville, OH
  13. Zach Gibson, Covington, KY
  14. Sydney Greene, Union, KY
  15. November Hardy, Madisonville, OH
  16. Sam Holloway, Carmel, IN
  17. Jen Horsting, Loveland, OH
  18. Abriljoanna (April) Huerta, Fairfield, OH
  19. Aubre Lightner, Evanston, OH
  20. Noel Maghathe, White Oak, OH
  21. Nicole McClure, Tulia, TX
  22. Hailee McElroy-Herin, Clifton, OH
  23. Nikki Nesbit, Newport, KY
  24. Jack Nichols, Madisonville, OH
  25. Sabrina Pachla, Warren, MI
  26. Cecilia Padilla, Fairfield, OH
  27. Hannah Parker, West Price Hill, OH
  28. Audrey Patterson, Mount Juliet, TN
  29. Cody Perkins, Hebron, KY
  30. John Platt, Walnut Hills, OH
  31. Sydney Rains, Covington, KY
  32. Tez Robertson, Over-the-Rhine, OH
  33. Kane Sargent, Lucasville, OH
  34. Carly Simendinger, Lebanon, OH
  35. Vera Thornbury, Price Hill, OH
  36. Tiffany Tran, Verona, WI
  37. Savannah Vagedes, Ludlow, OH
  38. Sophia Velasco, Fisher, IN
  39. Julia Waldorf, Fairfield, OH
  40. Taylor Wellman, Amanda, OH
  41. Mal Wesley, Over-the-Rhine, OH
  42. Harris Wheeler, Lexington, KY
  43. Althea Wiggs, Lexington, KY
  44. Lindsay Wiles, Blanchester, OH
  45. Andre Wilson, Westwood, OH
  46. Katelyn Wolary. Wilmington, OH

National Portfolio Day 2017

What is National Portfolio Day: Thinking about going to college for art? National Portfolio Day is a great way to find out your options! National Portfolio Days serve a variety of purposes.  Most importantly, they help further the development of young artists by bringing together experienced college representatives to review artwork, and offer critique. You’ll hear many different opinions about your portfolio in one place who share a powerful commitment to the arts. This experience is a small taste of what attending a professional art program can be like. To find out more about National Portfolio Day, please visit the National Portfolio Day web site.

What to Bring: Please bring finished pieces, work in progress, and sketchbooks. We ask you to bring your original artwork whenever possible. We suggest that you do not spend time and money matting or framing your work. If you would like to show some work digitally, please bring your own laptop with a self-contained power source as there will not be computers or outlets at each representative’s table.

Here’s where we’ll be:
Sunday, September 24 | Atlanta, GA | Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at GW
Saturday, September 30 | Indianapolis, IN | Herron School of Art and Design
Sunday, October 1 | Dallas, TX | School of Visual Arts
Sunday, October 8 | Cleveland, OH | Cleveland Institute of Art
Sunday, October 8 | Minneapolis, MN | Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Saturday, October 14 | Memphis, TN | Memphis College of Art
Saturday, October 14 | Milwaukee, WI | Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
Sunday, October 15 | Chicago, IL | School of the Art Institute
Sunday, October 15 | Nashville, TN | Watkins College of Art, Design and Film
Sunday, October 22 | Boston, MA | Lesley University College of Art and Design
Sunday, October 28 | Kansas City, MO | Kansas City Art Institute
Saturday, October 28 | Richmond, VA | Virginia Commonwealth University
Sunday, October 29 | Grand Rapids, MI | Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State
Sunday, October 29 | St. Louis, MO | Washington University
Sunday, November 5 | Philadelphia, PA | Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Saturday, November 11 | Charlotte, NC | Kansas City Art Institute
Sunday, November 12| New York, NY | Fashion Institute of Technology
Saturday, November 18 | Washington, DC | Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at GW
Sunday, November 19 | Baltimore, MD | Maryland Institute of College of Art
Saturday, January 20 | Miami, FL | New World School of the Arts
Sunday, January 21 | Sarasota, FL | Ringling College of Art and Design

SONY DSC

Education to be Radical, Relentless, & Radiant

To view the original post by Mitchell Sipus, Art Academy alumnus, click here.

I was deeply honored to give the commencement speech to the graduating class of 2017 at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. These last few days, I am now continually reflecting upon the unique and powerful proposition this school makes to the world. There is no other school like it.

The only other college to which I can compare it is the mythical Black Mountain College of the 1960s that produced revolutionary minds such as John Cage. To plagiarize someone else’s story, the Art Academy (AAC) doesn’t merely graduate artists or designers, it graduates the critical but hard to find team member of every successful business:

“there are three kinds of people you want to launch a business: the person with the idea, the person with the financial sense, and the person who makes you say ‘what the fuck?’ The last is the person who can rip ideas apart, remix them, and flip everything upside down to generate breakthroughs that no one else can see.” 

The last kind of person is particularly hard to find. Many schools can teach people to become accountants or to be entrepreneurs but no school teaches students to be intellectually rebellious and operationally radical. Except for the Art Academy of Cincinnati. No joke. It is even in their mission statement.

Everyday books about Innovation, Design, and Economic Disruption churn through billions of dollars in annual publishing sales. Parallel to the publishing industry, countless institutions argue they offer an education that will transform students into innovators who will change our world. But do these industries actually generate the change-makers we seek?

In the last ten years, I’ve been fortunate to spend time at the world’s best universities as a speaker, student, or instructor including Oxford University, MIT, Harvard, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon University – and these are indeed great schools. Their students are brilliant and the faculty are more than competent. The programs are well funded and the students are nearly guaranteed the security of a well-paying job upon graduation. These schools also attract people who already have a history of success – when Elon Musk attended Stanford, he had already earned degrees in Physics and Economics. Yet I have never encountered another school that transforms unknown students into true innovators. In fact, when I recently taught Design Thinking at an East Coast top-tier MBA program, my students complained the entire time about the lack of clear directions and the constantly shifting parameters within the course requirements. I have since learned that this complaint is exceedingly common within MBA Design degrees. These programs are forcing square people through intellectual circles and many graduates come out very little changed.

Do all art schools impact students to think so differently? I’m not sure… there are many art schools in the world. My sister is a student at SCAD. I have friends as RISD. When I was a teenager, I lusted for the attention of the San Francisco Institute of Art (SFAI) and the School of the Chicago Institute of Art (SCIA). Unfortunately, in 1999, I had so little money for college, I did not even have the 50 dollars to apply to any of those programs let alone all of them. With little hope to attend any college, I drove my broken-down ‘91 Geo Prism to the Art Academy of Cincinnati for a Portfolio Review Day in mid-October, to present my high school artwork to various colleges. San Francisco was there, as was Chicago, and at least a dozen others. Chicago offered a partial scholarship on the spot, which was incredible… yet, as I did not have the money to apply, let alone to live in Chicago, it held more symbolic meaning than opportunity. I was nonetheless motivated at that moment to find a way to go to art school.

Weeks later I happened to cross paths with some artists, Aaron Butler and Christopher Daniel. Aaron worked at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and pioneered the experimental music group, Dark Audio Project, while Chris was a metal sculptor who went on to found the extraordinary and thriving Blue Hell Studio. They both held Art Academy ties, and with their encouragement, I decided to do everything possible to earn a scholarship. I applied only minutes before the deadline, in person, submitting my application in a massive wooden box crafted from an old PA system pulled from a dumpster in Kentucky (at Aaron’s suggestion that I make the physical application somehow stand out). As a mediocre student in high school, I had only applied to one other school at the time – the globally exceptional design school of the University of Cincinnati, DAAP – and I was not accepted. The Art Academy took a chance on me, offered a scholarship to cover more than half of tuition, and I will be forever grateful. Notably, after later graduating from the Art Academy, I received a full scholarship to DAAP for graduate school.

Visiting AAC this (in May) was not only nostalgic – it was inspirational. The Art Academy is a weird place. It consistently takes chances on people like me. It is a community of outsiders. It pushes them to build expertise on the ability to make something new – which is not typical, considering most degree programs demand students acquire knowledge on a longstanding subject or methodology. It pushes students to invent new models of production, new identities as artists, and to take life to the frontier of possibility. Graduates of the Art Academy of Cincinnati do not need books on creative problem solving, they need wicked problems where all others have failed. If the Art Academy has a flaw, it is a simple fact that they do little marketing or high-profile partnering, and consequently, the world knows little about this school amid an insatiable demand. The Art Academy of Cincinnati is not a diamond in the rough – it is a silent A-bomb in the exosphere.

My life has changed much since I attended the Art Academy. I am writing this blog entry while on a flight to San Francisco. Tomorrow morning, I will run a series of design strategy workshops for a Venture Capital firm in Silicon Valley to explore new investment models for Artificial Intelligence. Since attending the Art Academy, I have lived in multiple countries, built companies, and am fortunate that my abilities to tackle entrenched problems in new ways are continually in demand. When I think of the year I started college, 2000, my life is now very different from the future that was most likely ahead. Though I have my fair share of life challenges, I have a wonderfully creative and satisfying life. It has been a hard journey, but I credit the faculty and students of the Art Academy of Cincinnati. While most colleges chart a path for your future, the Art Academy provided a compass to guide me through the deep woods of the unknown.

Mitchell Sipus
Class of 2004

Merle

Memories of Merle

By Olivia Suffern

Merle Rosen was my teacher and mentor. She taught me how to draw, helped me prepare my portfolio for college, and was a great friend and role model to me during a time in my life when I was awkward and lacked confidence.

I’m sure my memories of Merle, though incredibly special to me, are similar to many other stories of those lucky enough to have known her. However I feel that if I share them with some of her close friends, even if we’ve never met, that I will feel a little more at peace with her sudden loss.

I met Merle at her “Drawing from the Very Beginning” course at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. The class was technically intended for adults. I was only in high school, so I was hyper nervous on the first day. Merle sensed my anxiety quickly, and joked that the grown-ups in the room probably felt much farther out of their comfort zones that I did. This type of calming, down-to-earth energy was so typical of Merle.

I enjoyed her class and improved so rapidly under her instruction that I began taking weekly lessons each Thursday evening from Merle in her Dane Ave. studio. I delighted in selecting old animal bones, sock puppets and natural specimens from her ever growing collection of treasurers to use as props for still life compositions. She always offered advice, warmth, and a cup of tea to each of her students.

Arriving at Merle’s studio felt like entering a sacred dimension. She was my liaison to the art world, and her influence on my life is irreplaceable

I am overwhelmed with emotion and have cried a lot, but I would not categorize my feelings as grief; rather intense gratitude that I had the privilege of knowing and learning from Merle. I will miss her magical presence.

 

Merle Rosen May 6, 1949 – June 19, 2017